Resolving Social Media Hacks

Resolving Social Media Hacks

With the rise of social media networks, online security on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has become increasingly important.

Guarding against hacks is something that both individuals and businesses have to take seriously. If you’re looking for a list of precautions you can take to protect yourself from a hack, my advice is to take a look at one of Twitter’s help pages on staying secure. You’ll find it below, near the end of the section on Twitter hacks.

If you’re reading this post because you’ve been hacked on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or because you need to advise someone else on how to fix a social media hack, you should find everything you need and if you don’t, I’ve included links to the key social media pages on Twitter and Facebook where you will be able to file a support request.

This article covers the following:

  1. How to fix a Twitter hack
  2. How to fix a Facebook hack
  3. How to fix a LinkedIn hack
  4. Precautions to take to prevent a social media hack

Has your Twitter account been hacked?

No worries, here’s what to do. First get yourself over to Twitter’s ‘ER’ and go through the helpful yes/no checklist they provide. They’ll give you advice after you’ve responded to each question.

If you can’t be bothered to do it, here’s the shortened version:

  1. Change your password
  2. Revoke connections to third-party applications – if you’re in doubt about the application, simply revoke access. You can always sign up for it at a later date if it’s not the source of the problem
  3. Update your password in any of the trusted third party applications you’ve connected to. If you’re still having trouble, Twitter allows you to file a ‘support request’.

So, what’s the deal? How did you actually get hacked on Twitter?

One of the main reasons that Twitter accounts are compromised is because you may inadvertently have given third party applications your username and password. Some third party applications are malicious or may be pretending to be someone they are not. In order to protect your account from further hacks make sure to do the following:

  • Delete any tweets that were posted while your account was compromised
  • Make sure your own computer has anti-virus software. Scan your computer to check there’s nothing malicious that may account for the hack
  • Change your password and make sure to use a strong password and a different password for each of the applications you sign up to.
  • Make sure you are careful about which applications/sites you allow to ‘post on your behalf’

In fact, Twitter has compiled a fantastic list of things you can do to ensure your twitter account is secure. Many of these tips will apply to other social media networks, so have a read through.

Has your Facebook account been hacked?

If your account is sending out spam messages or was taken over by someone else, you’ve been hacked. If your account was used to make purchases on applications and/or with Facebook credits, you’ve been hacked. In order to secure your account, head on over to Facebook’s ‘My account is hacked’ page.

It doesn’t take a genius to say it, but here are a few more things you could do to improve your Facebook account security:

  • Make sure you’ve got a strong password (numbers, characters and letters)
  • Log out of you Facebook account when you use a shared computer
  • Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date
  • Add a security question to your account
  • Make use of Facebook’s extra security features

Has your LinkedIn account been hacked?

In light of the recent LinkedIn hack which exposed more than six million LinkedIn member passwords, we’re suggesting that you err on the side of caution and ensure you’ve got a strong password for LinkedIn and if possible for all the sites you use. That way if one of them is hacked the others are not vulnerable.

Using password management tools is a good idea. Stand alone password managers like KeePass, Password Safe and 1Password are free and easy to use. These password managers store and encrypt multiple passwords so that you only have to remember one – the password you choose to use to access the password management site. If one platform is compromised it will not affect the security of your other passwords.

Other than that, simply be careful about clicking on links you receive that tell you to enter your password. Check the message/link is legitimate. Does it take you to a website with a reliable URL and is it associated with LinkedIn?

Preventing social media hacks

I highly recommend taking a little bit of time to think through your security online. While many social media attacks simply involve someone sending silly spammy messages from your account, other hacks can be far more harmful.

If you use the same password for different sites, you stand a much higher chance of having one of your accounts compromised. If at all possible, use different passwords. Also, make sure all of your applications are ones you’ve verified and, in the event that you are hacked, communicate with your followers and fans so that they know not to click on any spammy links they have been sent under your name.

Written by Candice Landau